11 Head International Foods, Future Consumer, Future Group, Sumit Saran
Role & Responsibility: Sourcing of International foods
• Establishing international partnerships
• Promotions and launch of international foods and brands through Future Group’s store formats
Experience in Retail: Three years of direct experience and 13 years indirectly.
Area of Specialisation: Understanding the subtle nuances of launching and marketing International foods in a diversified and heterogenous market like India.
Challenges in the Current Job: Getting stakeholders – both domestic and international – to believe that India is not price but value conscious.
His Solution to Challenges: Be premium to masses
• Build bridges to luxury
• Import in bulk (if needed) but package and process locally
The simple mantra to succeed is to partner, promote and persevere
Most Satisfying Part of Current Job: Establishing new products and categories for Indian consumers to delve into.
Learnings: India is one of the most rewarding market, if you are willing to be in the game for a long term. There is no room for fly-by-night operators.
Observations About The Category: Consumers today are aspirational. The simple mantra to succeed is Partner, Promote and Persevere.
Prediction of Future Trends: Every day, Future Group brings multiple products, opportunities and services to millions of customers in India. Through more than over 17 million square feet of retail space, we serve customers in more than 240 cities across the country. Most of all, we help India shop, save and realize dreams and aspirations to live a better quality of life every day. However, the growth achieved is just the tip of the iceberg.
• Sky is the limit for companies and brands who believe in the India story and are willing to work on ground with a long term vision.
Career Goal: To help global food brands find a successful base in India.
Top sellers: Our top sellers are products that appeal to the aspirations of the young Indians. It cuts across categories and consumption points.
Approach to Buying from Local SMEs: Buying yardsticks are the same for all.
• If the local SME has a global vision and a will to achieve, we are always happy to partner.
Criteria for Tapping New Suppliers: Willingness of the partner to work with us on ground to bring the best value for our customers.
22 Buying Head Gourmet West TATA Westside, Sudhish Sukumaran
Role & Responsibility: Head of buying and merchandising for gourmet foods.
Experience in Retail: 14 years+ years in Retail and Hospitality.
Area of Specialisation: Buying, Operations and Supply chain.
Challenges in the Current Job: Dealing with the new and everyday updates of FSSAI and the attendant legal terminology as a majority of gourmet products are imported. Making the food business at Westside profitable.
Gourmet is going to be a serious category for food retailers as it has the potential for better value, volume and margins
His Solution to the Challenges: Getting the sales mix right.
• Working on the sales and margin by increasing the sales of perishables, which is currently 52 per cent of the total gourmet business.
Most Satisfying Part of Current Job: Passion for the food business keeps me motivated everyday
Learnings: Learnt to be spontaneous in this business and in dealing with the customers, which opens up many new opportunities for sales.
• You need to be always on the curve and be updated in this industry.
Observations About The Category: I have a customer profile which is Sec A+ to SEC B. This segment of customers know what to buy and where to buy.
• Their patterns of buying has given us the confidence to be in the market for the past six years and helped us create a better customer profile inside our stores for food.
Prediction of Future Trends: As Indians are travelling all over the world, they are becoming increasingly receptive to world class cuisines and international food brands. Gourmet Food is going to be a serious category for food retailers as it has the potential to give a better value, volume and margins to the organization.
• Also the awareness of superfoods and health foods is increasing and it will further catalyse the gourmet sections in Indian Retail.
Career Goal: Lead a successful and profitable business venture and create my own benchmark and milestone in the industry.
Top Sellers: No comments
Approach to Buying from Local SMEs: We really welcome them.
• lt is good to see their energy and the kind of innovations that they put into the business, which add value to the customers shopping experience.
Criteria for Tapping New Suppliers: We look for integrity, quality and a win-win combination.